Although repair costs for self-driving cars could be higher, causing auto insurance costs to rise, the lower accident rate for autonomous vehicles will offset this price increase.
Liability is another word for “fault” — determining which party caused a car accident. In terms of car insurance, bodily injury and property damage coverage from liability insurance pay for the other party’s property damages and injuries if you caused an accident. But what happens when your car is driving itself? Would you as the passenger still be held responsible for the car’s sins?
At this point, it’s unclear how autonomous cars will influence fault and claims. However, most likely, it won’t be the passenger who is found liable. Instead, companies may hold car manufacturers, software developers, or sensor vendors responsible for a car’s mistakes.
Currently, insurance companies consider a variety of factors to determine car insurance rates, including the driver’s:
- Driving history, including accidents, DUIs, and traffic violations
- Credit score, which correlates with the likelihood of filing claims (people with bad credit are statistically more likely to file claims)
- Age (younger drivers with less experience are more likely to get into accidents)
However, with autonomous driving, someone’s driving record, be it bad or good, won’t affect the cost of insurance, nor will their credit score or age. Instead, there will be more of a focus on the car itself, including its make, model, model year, and safety features.